Bali Process for high-level officials has commenced since Monday, August 6, 2018, in Nusa Dua,. On the sidelines of the meeting, bilateral meetings of the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, with a number of ministers and representatives of international organizations are also held. The bilateral meeting that attracted the attention was the meeting of Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi with Myanmar's Home Affairs Minister, Lieutenant General Kyaw Swer. To the media, Retno Marsudi, said, Lt. Kyaw Swer currently provides security guarantees for those who live and who are planning to return to Rakhine State. Retno explained, in addition to welcoming the commitment of the Myanmar government, it continued to push the matter to be really well implemented. According to her, the security guarantees are the most complained by Rohingya refugees, which number os currently more than 500 thousand people in the Cox's Bazar refugee camp, Bangladesh.


"So if Myanmar has said that they provide guarantees regarding security and can be implemented, I think this will be a very positive step. And they say, progress continues even though this is step by step because of the complexity of the issue," said Retno Marsudi.

On the other hand, Retno Marsudi said that the communications between the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments that still have gaps in it need to be encouraged to be further built and supported by the trust of the two countries to particularly resolve the repatriation issue. Retno emphasized, in solving the Rohingya refugee problems it is important to involve ASEAN, which is part of Koffi Annan's recommendations. (KBRN/RETNO/AHM)


The Indonesian government has decided to conduct emergency response for 2 until 3 weeks to evacuate and to record data on the earthquake affected victims. This was stated by Vice President Jusuf Kalla in Jakarta on Monday (6/8). More than 90 people were killed and more than 200 people injured by the 7 Richter Scale earthquake on Lombok island, West Nusa Tenggara province. Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that the government ensured to rehabilitate the earthquake victims and to renovate their houses.

“We convey our condolences and sympathy to the earthquake victims in West Nusa Tenggara, especially in North Lombok. Hopefully they are received by Allah the Almighty. Thus, the government promises to soon rehabilitate all of the affected. But first, there is emergency response for 2-3weeks. We deploy Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) and also the Indonesian Military (TNI). The most important after the emergency response is rehabilitation, and reconstruction,” said Vice President Jusuf Kalla


Vice President Jusuf Kalla further said that the government will maximize effort for emergency response to evacuate so that it is hoped it can conduct the right and quick handling to reduce the number of casualties. Currently, the government is focusing efforts to provide assistance needed by the earthquake victims, including water, food, drinking water, blankets, etc. (KBRN/RIZKI/TRANS-YATI/AHM)


The Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi emphasized that there was no trade war between Indonesia and the United States (US). The statement was made by Foreign Minister Retno, after holding a bilateral meeting with US Secretary of State, Michael Richard Pompeo in Jakarta, Saturday, August 4, 2018. According to Retno, currently what is happening is a trade war between the US affecting all countries in the world including Indonesia. The absence of a trade war between the US and Indonesia, according to the Indonesian Foreign Minister, was seen from the visit of the Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggariasto Lukita to the United States to meet with US Trade Minister Wilbur Ross, US trade representative (USTR), and business circles.

“When the Indonesian Minister of Trade visited the United States, he certainly met with his partners. His partners are the Minister of Trade of the United States and also USTR, and also with businesses there. The essence of the visit is one, strengthening trade and investment, the second is pressing the barrier issues, friends not to be trapped in the sentence that there is a trade war between Indonesia and America. We have no trade war with America. What is happening now is a trade war between the United States and China. But I said earlier that the situation and conditions of trade between America and China would certainly affect all countries in the world,” Retno Marsudi said.

On the same occasion, the Indonesian Ambassador to the US Budi Bowoleksono said the results of the visit of the Indonesian Minister of Trade were positive because there was potential to increase trade growth between the two countries. However, according to Ambassador Budi there are still trade barriers between the two countries. He said, one of the obstacles discussed was the World Trade Organization (WTO) policy in agriculture. The policy requires its member countries to liberalize the agricultural sector while Indonesia does not fully liberalize the agricultural sector. Besides that another obstacle that also arises is related to inspection of seafood products in the US. As for the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) which is rumored to be revoked, Ambassador Budi said it was still under discussion. According to Ambassador Budi, GSP is a facility provided by the US to Indonesia. This facility is not a right. GSP is a facility to help developing countries grow economically. But this facility has requirements. That is, the removal of market access barriers to US products in Indonesia. At present the US is indeed conducting a review of GSP facilities and the process is still ongoing. (VOI / Rezha/AHM)


Orchestra from Asturias, Spain, Orquesta De Camara de Siero-OCAS, again held a number of collaborative music concerts with traditional Indonesian musicians. The music project titled Vinculos For Indonesia 2018 was held in Maluku, Central Sulawesi, Riau and DKI Jakarta provinces during August and September 2018. This is the second time OCAS visited Indonesia after a successful concert with Mataniari traditional musicians in Lake Toba, North Sumatra and Thousand Islands last year. This year, OCAS presents several collaboration, educational, workshop and other cultural and social activities in Ambon, Sigi and Parigi Moutong regencies, Pekanbaru and Jakarta. OCAS Conductor Manuel Paz on Thursday evening, August 2, in Ambon said they will collaborate with Ambonese traditional music group, Tahuri from Negeri Hutumuri. At the concert, OCAS will bring three traditional Ambon songs.

“Together with Tahuri, from Ambon music there are 3 songs. In addition there are some songs from Asturias. Then there are some songs from Latin America. You see, Latin America and Spain, even though the distance is far away but both have many similarities. Then there are two songs from Andalusia because there are two OCAS members from Andalusia,” Manuel Paz said..

Manuel Paz further explained, the traditional song was titled Ayo Mama, Huhate and Goro-gorone. With the theme of spreading the spirit of solidarity, peace, unity in pluralism, the Vinculos for Indonesia 2018 was held in the city of Ambon 3 and 5 August which will be projected as UNESCO's International City of Music in 2019. Vinculos is implemented as part of Indonesia's strong commitment through the Ministry of Education and Culture to strengthen cultural cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of Spain. This activity also coincided with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Indonesia and the Kingdom of Spain. OCAS orchestra group will also hold flash mobs or mass dances in Maluku City Mall and big concerts at Ambon Cultural Park. (VOI/SEKAR/DP)